Becoming a Lineman in Texas
Texas is a very unique state as it has its own separate power grid compared to the rest of the United States. Also, Texas is the second largest energy-producing and energy-consuming state, which industrial plants such as refineries account for half of the energy consumed for the state. Texas actually produces 28% of all U.S. wind electricity, which is quite a staggering amount. In this report we are focusing on Texas linemen.
Texas lineman schools
Some of the most popular in-state choices for lineman school in Texas are South Plains College Lineman Program, Southwest Texas Junior College Lineman Training, Tarrant County College Line Technician Program, Texas A&M Extension Service Lineman Academy, and Texas State Technical College Lineman Program. These are all great programs to help you get your certificate ranging from only $1,200 to about $10,000. Even with just a certificate, graduates from these programs can expect to have around a $40,000 starting salary.
In order to become a lineman in Texas the first step is an apprenticeship. A lineman apprenticeship is an “earn while you learn” program in the sense that it is an entry level role that is focused on education and training. Texas apprenticeships in the line industry can be difficult to enter and having a CDL as well as going to line school can improve your chances in the region. Some of the lineman schools are also known as pre-apprenticeship programs. In an interview, either union halls or contractors in Texas, an aspiring lineman will be expected to articulate why he is interested in the field as well as what sort of relevant experience would translate well. Like many states, Texas has quite a variety of working conditions, being in the busy city or out in the country side.
Texas lineman apprenticeships
Apprentices in Texas work alongside veteran journeyman and learn from the best instructors in the industry. Apprentices are members of high-energy teams that work in the field to maintain substation, power lines, and other electrical projects.
Lineman apprentices in Texas will be responsible for performing diversified work related to the construction and maintenance of poles, power lines, auxiliary facilities, and equipment for the distribution of electricity. With all of the wind power Texas creates, linemen must ensure that the grid is properly maintained for the wildly varied power production from wind turbines.
Lineman apprentices in Texas can typically make between $50,000 and $60,000 per year.
Texas lineman jobs
How much does a lineman make in Texas?
We estimate there are currently 10,600 lineman in the state of Texas. The median journeyman salary for lineman in Texas is $67,560. The 90th percentile salary for journeyman lineman in Texas is $96,430
Some local unions for lineman in Texas include Local 20 (Dallas), Local 66 (Houston), Local 500 (San Antonio), and Local 72 (Waco). There is a fair balance for lineman jobs in Texas between union and non-union. Being in a union may be beneficial as there is a large amount of linemen in the state, creating a relatively powerful union due to amount of workers.
Oncor is a major employer of lineman through its strong apprenticeship program. Other major employers of lineman in Texas include CenterPoint Energy, American Electric Power Texas, Austin Energy, Xcel Energy and Entergy.
Some of the other utilities we have been tracking over the past year that have been getting more aggressive with their posting of hiring opportunities for lineman include Xcel Energy and Rio Grande Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Journeyman lineman in Texas will be able to need to perform various types of distribution service calls. A typical day’s work would include performing all energized & de-energized work assigned to the crew, supervise the work of any apprentice lineman training with the crew, assume the responsibility for the crew when the foreman is not present.
Texas has a good amount of different power sources for the state. Every source has at least 10% market share of the power grid, even nuclear power. As a lineman, you will be working with all of these different sources of energy on it’s own private grid, creating a unique experience compared to other states. Texas also has many unique regulations dealing with it’s special power grid dealing with set cost for electricity and the mandating of renewable energy sources.
As you can see, the enormous number of linemen that work in Texas just makes sense, as this state is huge, with a big population, and the unique power grid. It only makes sense to become a line worker in Texas.